Rebecca Loebe: Mystery Prize 

Self-released

Within the folk music scene, it is far too easy to be predictable and boring and still get loads of support from the laid-back fan base, as long as you follow the rules. Fortunately, Atlanta resident Rebecca Loebe shirked at that playbook a while ago. Instead, she takes chance after chance on her delightful new album, Mystery Prize. Opening with the gently swaying title track, Loebe delivers a sultry, heartfelt, yet somewhat coy ode to love, belying a deep awareness of life's foibles that seems incongruent with her rather innocent and youthful appearance. She diversifies the sound with the pure tongue-in-cheek twang of "Redneck Karaoke Bar," the meditative "California," and even a little jazzy feel on the witty "Her in That Dress." Creatively funded by presales from friends and fans, Loebe banked this one on her reputation, and as promised, has made a record that lifts the folkie bar a few notches. There's no mystery here, the girl has talent. 4 out of 5 stars.

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